Michigan regulators, who are familiar with the previous implementation of new gambling regulations in Michigan, expect it to take approximately one year to solidify the rules for the industry – online poker, online casino games, sports betting, and fantasy sports.
The targeted 2021 completion of the online rules are based on the time it took to develop other rule sets in the past, said Mary Kay Bean, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
While Detroit’s three commercial casinos, as well as the state’s 24 tribal casinos, will all need to obtain the proper mobile sports bettor operating licenses for online gambling, it’s the agency’s goal to launch on-site sports betting this spring.
“We are at a very early stage of this process,” Bean said, according to the Associated Press. “The agency must establish several sets of administrative rules, which pass through many levels of review. The timing of implementation depends not only on our agency but also on decisions other departments, agencies and the Legislature make along the way.”
The rules process could require public hearings, public comments, and regulatory impact statements. In addition, the rules must then lead to a licensing process, which will include vetting and ultimately issuing those licenses.
How Michigan Is Preparing for Legalized Sports Betting
MGM Grand Detroit has prepared for the update by opening their $6 million sports bar, Moneyline, last October. It will have betting windows and self-service kiosks once approved. But Detroit won’t be the only place it will be available.
“We view sports betting as another nice entity that will drive more people to our property,” Mike Bean, the CEO of Saginaw Chippewa Gaming Enterprises with locations in Mount Pleasant and Standish, said, according to the news wire. “Our biggest question right now is when is it all going to be ready?
Penn National Gaming Inc. is the new operator of the Greektown Casino. There have been decades-long agreements with four internet gaming operators because the organization aims to bring sports betting to its 41 locations in 19 states. Two of their locations could potentially operate in the state of Michigan.
“We’re envisioning what (sports betting) could look like if it were passed,” said Eric Schippers, Penn National senior vice president of public affairs. “Michigan is leaving a lot of money on the table it could be generating in tax revenue and benefits that could be funded from this. There’s natural pressure to strike while it’s hot. We’re hopeful Michigan won’t allow itself to get left behind.”
How Does Michigan’s Timeline Fare With Other States?
Pennsylvania, as a point of reference, took approximately two years before its first online poker site was able to launch, but that was on the long-tail of the required amount of time, almost excessively so. One year is more realistic, according to most industry analysts and experts.
The timeline largely is the standard in other states that have legalized online gaming and sports betting, said Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Oshtemo Township, who spearheaded the online gaming package. A similar package took six to eight months to implement in Indiana, he said.
“I’d like it to be a little bit quicker, but that’s probably the timeline,” Iden said.
The in-person sports betting timeline is a good step forward, he said, but it’s not likely the state will experience significant tax revenue until online gambling piece is up and running.
“Until we’re fully integrated online, I don’t think we’ll be able to capitalize on revenue. But from a consumer protection standpoint, from getting players interested, certainly getting up and going in person is helpful,” Iden said.